Insights into the bacterial mechanotransduction mechanisms induced by vibrational stimuli

Bazzoli, Dario Giovanni (2023). Insights into the bacterial mechanotransduction mechanisms induced by vibrational stimuli. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Mechanical forces shapes living matter from the macro to the micro. No organism has escaped their influence or failed on taking advantage of them as both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells are subjects and wielders of the force. However, while we know much of how this happens in mammalian cells, our appreciation of how rich this same process is in bacteria have been late to come. Consequently, while mechanical forces and their vast mechanobiology have been used to alter and control mammalian cells behaviour, we are lacking this same level of novelty in bacteria. With my work I would like to amend this and explore how bacteria can also be controlled through mechanical signals. To do this, I aimed influencing one of bacteria most mechanically rich and technologically appealing processes: surface colonisation. I found that nanometric surface vibrations of pN intensities and kHz frequencies, reduce surface colonisation. I found this response mediated by both cells’ membrane potential and flagella’s motors as, when these were suppressed, vibrations effect on cells surface behaviour was limited. I suggest that by crippling cells hyperpolarisation, vibrational stimulation hinder flagella’s mechanotransduction so hampering surface colonisation. While these findings prove that cells’ adhesion can be influence by mechanical forces, they also show that through a similar tickling sensation, mechanical cues can effectively be used as a novel tool to communicate and control bacteria.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Chemical Engineering
Funders: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Subjects: Q Science > QR Microbiology


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